Introducing you to Noel Jensen. The Pod crew stumbled across an article Noel wrote which was full of great advice for services looking to diversify their staff and attract male Educators and importantly, how to retain them. Noel was clearly well versed in the Early Education and Care Sector with 25 years of experience behind him. We just had to ask Noel to become part of our regular blog posting as he challenges ideas, throws new notions out there and of course, has a wicked sense of humour!
My name is Noel Jensen. I am 54 years young, a male, short, plump and I have a wicked sense of humour. I love a beer and a talk and love to watch the world go by, great fun. I live on a small property called ‘NOMAR FARM’ with my partner Mark and our dogs Sammy and Arrabella.
In my life I have had lots of career changes. My first job at 15, was a house painting apprenticeship, I completely hated it! I have been a DJ, sang radio giggles, a cook, a cleaner and worked in hospitality as both barman and manager. Loved working in clubs and pubs and love working with people. I think, we can all agree and chuckle over, the fact that little people are sometimes a little like inebriated adults… So many stories for another time!
My entry into the Early Education and Care sector began voluntarily – I would assist in fundraising activities and administration tasks at a daycare my sister was employed as Director. Around this time, whilst in London, a friend began their university studies in early childhood and brain development. I was fascinated and hooked! 25 years later, I have studied, worked and lecture in this very field!
Being male and working in the sector comes with a unique set of challenges. Not all I meet are supportive of males working in Early Education and Care. When I began my studies in country NSW, I was one lone male in a class with 35 female students! This career choice in country NSW was certainly not always well received, especially at the pub! I’d resort to being a ‘brickies labourer’ just to keep the peace. Luckily things have changed. After all it is totally acceptable to primary teachers to be male, why on earth not early education I ask.
Love what I do and I even have a little side business -(see below) in my shed, it’s like therapy really. Making lenses and natural materials for the early years sector. Check it out here I would love your feedback. With all this fun and excitement I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up ! But the journey has been most interesting with lots of ups and downs and especially lots of fun. Rule number one “surround yourself with people who know more than you” and you will be forever learning and reflecting and having fun!
I will be writing an ongoing blog about my time in and thoughts around Education and Care. I will be focusing on engagement and retention of males in the early year’s sector and the barriers I believe are put in front of them. I’m honest and I challenge people and I absolutely love to hear others views!
Until next time.